What is the purpose of the foreword by Francis Mauriac?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mauriac introduces Night and its narrator Elie Wiesel, who was a journalist at the time of their meeting. Mauriac draws the reader to the strengths of Night as a sequence of events that occurred to Elie, and his personal account of life during the holocaust. Mauriac met Elie after accepting an interview from him. At the time, Mauriac was wary of interviews with foreign journalists. However, the interview with Elie was different because he was a survivor of the Holocaust.

They talked about the German Occupation of France, which for him was a tumultuous period. Mauriac only heard of events of the Holocaust from his wife, but Elie presented him with an opportunity to get a firsthand account of the events. Mauriac asserted that Elie gave a human face to the impact of the Holocaust on the Jewish community and humanity at large. Mauriac also addressed the loss of faith by the narrator due to the experience and admitted to his inability to adequately explain his beliefs because of the magnitude of Elie’s personal story.

If the Almighty is the Almighty, the last word for each of us belongs to Him. That is what I should have said to the Jewish child. But all I could do was embrace him and weep. - Mauriac